Sunday, January 28, 2007

A community health oriented Indian Christian

‘The Jews expected a messiah, and perhaps they had hopes of Jesus. But they were soon disappointed. Jesus talked a strange language of revolt against existing conditions and the social order. In particular he was against the rich and the hypocrites who made religion a matter of certain observances and ceremonial. Instead of promising wealth and glory, he asked people to give up even what they had for a vague and mythical Kingdom of Heaven. He talked in stories and parables, but it is clear that he was a born rebel who could not tolerate existing conditions and was out to change them. This was not what the Jews wanted, and so most of them turned against him and handed him over to the Roman authorities.”
- Jawaharlal Nehru (1949, 85)

“Christ took pity on people and came to their aid, whether they were spiritually ill as a result of sin or physically sick. His attention was given to the sick person with whom he frequently talked, showing his preference for the poor but without excluding anyone in need who appealed to him.

Jesus considered suffering and sickness as forming part of the ‘less human’ situation and we are asked to endeavour to make these ‘more human’.”

“Since Christians are the leaven, we must reach out towards the masses by providing simple, accessible and promotional health care according to our own possibilities, modest as they are, or in conjunction with the public services, where this is allowed.”
- cf populorum progression, 20

“And because the life of Jesus has the significance and transcendence to which I have alluded, I believe that He belongs not solely to Christianity, but to the entire world; to all races and people, it matters little under what flag, name or doctrine they may work, profess a faith, or worship a God inherited from their ancestors.”
- Mahatma Gandhi

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Action Heroes Wanted

Blank Noise is a public and participatory art project working both online and on the streets of Bangalore, Mumbai , Delhi, Chennai and Hyderabad. Blank Noise seeks to recognize eve teasing as street sexual harassment and establish it as an issue.

Blank Noise project Bangalore calls for women/ girls/ ladies/ of all ages, languages, colour, and shape to be participate in a street intervention on Sunday January 28th. By participating you will be celebrated as a BNP Action Hero. Confirm /ask questions at 98868 40612. This street intervention will be approximately 1.5 hours ( 5 - 6 30 pm).

Find out more at the Blank Noise Project Blog

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Communicable disease among rabbits


Rabbits they say
Are very scarce to-day
My diagnosis?

- Spike Milligan


Caught in the center of a soundless field
While hot inexplicable hours go by
What trap is this? Where were its teeth concealed?
You seem to ask.
I make a sharp reply,
then clean my stick. I'm glad I can't explain
Just in what jaws you were to supporate:
You may have thought things would come right again
If you could only keep quite still and wait.

- Philip Larkin (1955)


The mongrel cat came home
Holding half a head
Proceeded to show it off
To all his new-found friends

He said, "I've been to where I like.
"I've slept with who I like.
"She ate me up for breakfast.
"She screwed me in a vice.
"But now,I don't know why I feel so tongue tied."

I sat in the cupboard
And wrote it down in neat

They were cheering and waving
cheering and waving
twitching and salivating
like with myxomatosis.

But it got edited fucked up
Strangled beaten up
Used as a photo in Time magazine
Buried in a burning black hole in Devon

And now, I don't know why I feel so tongue tied.
Don't know why I feel so skinned a- live.

My thoughts are misguided and a little naïve
I twitch and I salivate
like with myxomatosis.

You should put me in a home or you should
Put me down
I got myxomatosis.
I got myxomatosis.

Yeah and no one likes a smart arse
But we all like stars(Oh please)
That wasn't my intention(blah blah)
I did it for a reason (reason)

It must've got mixed up
Beaten up
I got myxomatosis.
I got myxomatosis.

And now, I don't know why I feel so tongue tied.

- Radiohead. Hail the Thief (2003)


A baby rabbit
With eyes full of pus
This is the work
Of scientific us

- Spike Milligan

Myxomatosis (from the Greek μύξα (mucus), and ματώνω (to bleed)) is a disease which infects rabbits. It is caused by the myxoma virus. First observed in Uruguay in the early 1900s, it was deliberately introduced into Australia in an attempt to control rabbit infestation there.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Novartis, drop that case!

In August 2005 I had written two articles on this blog on the rewriting of the Indian patent laws using the controversy surrounding Gleevec, an anti-cancer drug by Novartis to illustrate the issue. Under the new patent regime, large pharmaceutical companies could take out product patents which would allow them to monopolise production of new drugs and increase prices.

In January 2006, Novartis' patent application for Gleevec was rejected on the grounds that the drug was a new form of an old drug and therefore was not patentable under Indian law. This enabled patients with certain cancers to access the drug at a price of around Rs. 9000 ($200) a month as opposed to a price of 1,15,000 ($2600) which was the price of the drug elsewhere.

Currently Novartis is suing the Indian Government in order to have the patent decision overturned so that it can sell Gleevec at the same price in India as in other countries. If Novartis wins the case and succeeds in getting the provision of Indian law changed to resemble patent laws in wealthy countries, it could mean that fewer and possibly no generic versions of newer drugs will be able to be produced by Indian manufacturers during the first 20 years after discovery of a drug and India will no longer be able to supply much of the developing world with cheap essential medicines.

Sign a petion to demand that Novartis drop its case against the Indian Government.

Read more about the issue at the Medecins Sans Frontieres site.

Another acorn!

How can you resist a blog subtitled "Epidemiology, truth and counter cultures" ? Rakhal has been a great friend, philosopher, guide and cousin over the years but seems to have kept his blog in the closet. Until now.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The oak tree out of which the acorn fell

After a large amount of persuasion and calming of apprehensions the NarayanBlog is up and running! Read and leave sweet encouraging comments here.